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Sometimes they take us for fools…

Smiling at face of death – trusting your life on bald tires for RM4 (Picture source: The Star)

I always had dreamed of going to Maxwell Hill every time I go back to Taiping to my in-laws’ house and decided that I will do so with my family during the Deepavali holidays. However, as I was reading The Star’s article titled “Risky way to ferry visitors to Bukit Larut”, I realised how stupid some people can be and even worse, they take us to be fools.

The Star reported:-

Visitors to Bukit Larut face danger each time they travel up and down the hill as all of the vehicles used to ferry them have worn out tires. A check by The Star yesterday showed that all of the six jeeps used to ferry visitors up and down the hill had worn out tires. One of the hill’s management staff said an application had been made to the district office to change all the tires for the six jeeps over a month ago but to no avail.

We know it is dangerous but we have been quite lucky so far,” said a driver who declined to be named.

District Officer Mahmod Morsidi could not be immediately reached for comment but it is learnt that the delay in changing the worn out tires was due to the appointment of a middleman to undertake the delivery of the new tires unlike the past, where the district office could order the tires directly from any shop here.

The source said the middleman had apparently defaulted on his payment to the tire supplier, forcing the latter to stop issuing the new tires to the district office.

After reading the article, couple of things comes to my mind:-

1. It rains cats and dogs in Taiping – in fact, Taiping is the wettest area in Peninsular Malaysia. I don’t think the drivers’ luck is going to stay for long. The Hill Management is aware of the impending danger and should the unthinkable happen, can they be charged with manslaughter? From what I know, they can but then again, we are talking about Malaysia where at times, you can get away with even murder

2. A clear lack of responsibility can be seen here. Was the application for the new tires were made only after the tires had been worn out? Is there anyone doing the follow up? Where things pertaining to safety of the public is concerned, isn’t a month is way too long to be taking such careless and unnecessary risk?

3. Why there is a change in procedure requiring middleman for the tires? It seems that the middleman is not the tire supplier. This meant the District Office is spending more for a tire using a middleman compared to the price if it was ordered directly from the supplier. Is there a fraud here? It is clear that the ACA should be investigating this unnecessary and wasteful spending of public money

4. If the tire supplier had stopped delivery of the tires due to default of payment by the middleman, is this meant that payments were actually made to the middleman before the goods were delivered? If the answer is yes, this meant the middleman is going to use the money, less his commission and order the tires with the balance. Now that, there is a default in payment, does this mean the middleman had pocketed the money to himself? If the answer is no, what is stopping the district office from buying the tires directly from the tire supplier? Clearly there is a breach of contract by the middleman – so why afraid?

Perhaps Kavyeas should be looking at the more pertinent issue regarding safety of public at his own constituency instead of wasting time looking at the local authority issue as whole. Because let me tell you this – once the unthinkable happens, Malaysian authorities will fall into the ever normal act of “Kita akan siasat dan akan mengambil langkah langkah seterusnya”. Should we wait for the drama to start all over again?

Oh by the way, adults are charged RM4 and children RM2 per head for the trip uphill. That is value of our life for using the jeep – just RM4.

Think about it, will you?

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